International tourist arrivals in Uganda jumped 8 percent to 1.3 million in 2015 compared to 1.2 million arrivals in the previous year. The country expects to attract 1.4 million international arrivals in 2016, as well as more revenue from the industry.
Of the 1.3 million arrivals, 70 percent were holidaymakers from overseas markets, according to Uganda Tourism Board Head of Public Relations, Vincent Mugaba. Most of the visitors to Uganda came from the UK, US and Germany.
As a result, Uganda earned revenue amounting to $1.4 billion in tourist expenditure last year, up from $1.2 billion in 2014. Mugaba attributes the rise in international tourist arrivals to Uganda being a safe destination, as well as an increase in faith-based visits and conferences hosted in the country. “Uganda as a safe destination was the major selling point in our traditional source markets of Europe and the US,” he said.
Mugaba says in recent years, the destination has been doing well in the meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE), adding that it was among the factors contributing to the surge in arrivals in 2015. “It should be noted that since last year, Uganda has been attracting both overseas and regional MICE events, thereby boosting the travel and tourism sector.”
Apart from MICE, attractions such as gorilla trails, adventure, birding, mountain climbing and water sports in the lakes have also drawn many tourists to the East African country.
Compiled by: Melissa Jane Cook. Source: Mathias Ringa.